If you are discerning a vocation to religious life, you can come to know the Lord’s will for you more easily by spending time in prayer and participating daily mass. In the Holy Mass one encounters the substantial presence of God in the Holy Communion. God speaks to us and pours down superabundant grace to souls that are opened to listen to Him. Allow yourself to pause from your busy activities and hear what God is trying to say to us. Frequent confessions and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament are also recommended. Spending some time in silence to visit Our Lord in the Eucharist is one of the most important parts of the discernment experience. It is there that He clarifies, strengthens and confirms us in walking in the plans He has for us.
The Blessed Virgin Mary: A Companion in Discernment
We can seek help from Our Lady, Mary Mother of God. She is the perfect model of docility to the will of God, especially at the Annunciation with her fiat (“let it be done”). She, as the Mother of the Incarnate Word of God, she knows the best how to be please Him and serve Him, as well as to be trusting, open and generous with the call from God the Father. The Holy Rosary, the recitation of the Angelus, and even the Total Consecration according to the method of St. Louis Marie Gringion de Montfort are all ways of inviting her to be our mother, our model, and our intercessor. Our Religious Family has a particularly strong Marian spirituality which is most clearly manifested in our Fourth Vow of Marian Consecration (after those of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience). This vow follows the method and teaching of St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort taught in the True Devotion and known as the Total Consecration. We also recognise Our Lady of Lujan as a true Mother of Our Vocations, since she is a particular intercessor for all those who are called to be part of our Religious Family.
Spiritual reading is a practice of enriching the spiritual life through prayerful reading. The Bible has a unique precedence over any other book because reading the Gospels offers an important encounter with Christ for any Christian, but especially one in discernment. Other books can also help to instruct or inspire. These can include reflections about Christ (His Passion, His Incarnation, etc.), classic advice and guidance for the life of prayer, writings of the saints, or even the lives of saints. Make a little time in the day to commit to quiet reading. You are suggested to talk to someone with deep knowledge of spirituality to seek for advice of what you should read.
Church Documents about Consecrated Life
Read about consecrated life in important Church documents:
Encyclical of Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas (1954)
Decree of the Second Vatican Council, Perfectae Caritatis (1965)
Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, Redemptionis Donum (1984)
Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, Vita Consecrata (1996)
Make a Visit: “Come and See”
God calls souls to the consecrated life through specific congregations. The Holy Spirit has inspired many religious families, many particular charisms and institutes in the Church to fulfill His plan of salvation for certain souls through the vocation to consecrated life. This means that if you are discerning the call to religious life it will not be abstract forever. At a certain point, visiting sisters to see their lives can be a helpful step in discernment. A community’s charism and spirituality is most manifest in the liturgy, apostolate, and fraternal charity among sisters. See the information of the next up-coming “Come and See” Program, or contact our Vocations Director for more details. We also receive visitors at other times, you can contact our Vocations Director to schedule an initial visit or to ask your questions about discernment with our community.
Please contact: Sr. Maria del Adviento (SSVM Vocations Director)